Ribblehead to Dent via Whernside, Great Coum and Crag Hill
Walk 14 - Ribblehead to Dent Village via Whernside [736m] , Great Coum [687m] and Crag Hill  - 11.5miles - 6 hours. A long but very worthwhile day out climbing 3 peaks and a return to Dent Village via Flintergill. By train and bus only using the 564A weekend bus from Dent Village to Dent Station. Otherwise add 5 miles for the return walk back to Dent Station. Back to Dentdale
From Ribblehead Station turn right at the end of the station access road in front of the Station Inn. Follow the main road for 200m and turn left towards the viaduct. Follow this track and keeping to the right of the viaduct follow the path to Blea Moor Signal Box. A little further on cross the stream by means of stepping stones and a footbridge before reaching the aqueduct carrying the stream over the railway line. Pass over the aqueduct and continue uphill watching out for the Force Gill Waterfall on the left. The path continues uphill. After 1/4 mile or so bear left over a stile and follow the path to the summit of Whernside[736m]bearing left for the final ascent along the ridge. Pause to admire the view over Ribblehead towards Pen y ghent and Ingleborough. Pass through the stile next to the trig point and follow the lesser used path towards Dentdale. The crowds of Three Peaks walkers are soon left behind and the walk becomes much quieter. Part-way down the path bears right at a cairn following the contour and then left at a dry-stone wall again continuing downhill. Negotiate a boggy patch near the bottom and very soon the minor road at the head of Kingsdale will be encountered.
Turn right long the minor road and after 1/4 mile turn left along the Occupation Road, a stoney track following a high level contour above Dentdale. This track has suffered much abuse from 4x4 vehicles but in recent years has been restored to what it is now making for a pleasant walk. Follow the track for 1 mile and as it curves around he side of Great Coum and a change of surfacing look for a stile in the dry-stone wall on the left in the corner of the pasture. This used to be out of bounds but thanks to countryside access is open to all. There is no path but take a diagonal course across the open pasture up to the crest of the hill. Bear right at the top passing County Stone, the current boundary marker for an extremity of Lancashire as it pokes into Cumbria [formerly the West Riding]. Continue uphill following the dry-stone wall. The wall curves to the left and it would be advantageous to cross the wall using one of a number of stiles. Continue with the wall on the right passing the summit of Great Coum [687m]. This is barely marked with a diminutive cairn on the other side of the wall. The path drops slight and curves with the wall to the left. After 1/2 mile look for a stile in the wall and cross. Now with the wall on the left continue for 1/4 mile to reach the summit trig pointy of Crag Hill [682m]. The views across to Morecambe Bay, Middleton Fells and Ingleborough are excellent.
Leaving the trig point retrace steps to the stile and immediately turn left to cross another stile. Now descend the steep slopes of Crag Hill in zig zags taking care not to slip. At the bottom of the hill join a vehicle track bearing right long the perimeter wall of the pasture. This passes though a gate and becomes an enclosed track continuing down hill for about 3/4 mile. Upon reaching the Occupation Road again, turn right through a gate and continue for 400m or so. Turn left through a gate and follow the track down through Flintergill. This gets steeper now following to the left hand side of the ravine often dry in Summer. The track emerges at the top of Dent village. Pass between the cottages and the village green to reach the Main Street and the bus shelter for the return 564A bus to Dent Station.
The 564A service has now been assured into the foreseeable future. This is an excellent means of reaching Dent Village or Sedbergh whether to walk or visit the pubs, cafes and heritage centre. The Saturday bus times at the time of writing are depart Dent Sta 1020, and on the return from Dent village 1515 or 1705. Please consult the timetable
©John Carey 2014
This page was last updated on 06-Sep-2014